tv News4 This Week NBC March 16, 2014 5:30am-6:01am EDT
too common crime. we ride along with a man who keeps our washington capitol safe. doing some digging and they found a troubling number of local gamblers who are abandoning their kids in the parking lot. the casino craze is growing. so are the number of people tempted by the flood. >> the casino craze is spreading in maryland. the lights, the excitement. too hard for some to resist. new year's eve amid the life and roar inside of the live casino, police arrested 24-year-old alicia brown. they say brown left her 4-year-old child alone in the car outside for eight hours. while she went inside to gamble. police say the child was found hungry, cold, and crying.
brown was charged with child abuse. >> we heard what happened that day, the news4 i-team started digging and checking court records and gaming commissioning documents as well. that happened several times. statewide and nationwide in recent months. >> watch this surveillance camera footage. would moms walking the casino floor at the mardi gras casino floor on a sunday evening. eventually gambling. their four children left alone locked in the car outside. one two women told police she had gone inside to use the bathroom. >> the both of you were inside gambling. you checked in at the players club and started playing slots. >> the court records show prosecutors filed neglect charges. we found at least six other cases of abandoned chirp in the past year at maryland casinos alone. lee of them at maryland live and two more at ocean down casino, eastern shore. both cases happening in the heat of the summer. a safety group kids in cars found about 60 more cases
outside of maryland in the past four years. including at a casino near pill del. a man arrested for leaving his 12-year-old grandson alone in the car and illegally parking the car in the lot. it is a dangerous crime no matter when it happens. safety groups say the maryland live case from new year's eve is particularly alarming. sub-freezing temperatures that day. >> never leave your child alone in a car. not even for a minute. >> outdoor temperature is about 15 degree. >> the group save kids helped us show how little the car doors and windows alone good door closed and windows close. >> protect an abandoned child from the cold. >> 22 degree. >> kate says hypothermia hits children faster. >> if a child is experiencing hypothermia, what's that child peeling? >> in the earliest stages of hypothermia, like yound i we start to shiver. our bodies are saying how can i keep you warmer? so kids can't shiver fast enough to warm their body temperature up. >> operators of the new casino
set for prince george's county will use surveillance to prevent gamblers from abandoning kids. as for alicia brown, she still has custody of her child but face as court appearance later this mop there are safeguards in place. the casino has a 200-person security team and surveillance cameras inside and outside the parking lots and garages. leaving a child unattended in one of the cars, contact police immediately. >> we have an interactive map showing cases of children being left in cars and casinos online at nbcwashington.com. all you have to do is click on investigations. at first glance this might seem like a class for a couch potato. that's not the case at all. this teacher of this language arts class of bell monday ridge middle school in loudoun county has swapped out the desks in favor of couches and coffee
tables. it sets the mood for something completely different the way kids are learning. >> we are coming in here and reading and just writing. they weren't connecting with it. we wanted to find a way where a student felt more comfortable, more at home and more likely to engage in the discipline we were teaching. >> he tells us what to do for and we sit down on the couches and we do it ourselves on our own pace. not too fast or too slow. at your own pace. >> that's cool. sounds good to me. the program could be expanded to other classes if it is helping students to learn. good will coming out of the traj at the navy yard shooting. martin of annandale was one of 12 people shot and killed september 16. this community isn't forgetting about he or his family. david culver shows us how they are getting a helping hand with home repairs.
is. >> the annandale home is undergoing renovation. >> the lower portion of the d drywall. >> water was seep something and the drywall had to go. it is something mart write would have taken care of for his family. >> wherever there is immediate that's where you find marty. >> a husband and pear of three girls, one of the 12 killed in september's navy yard shooting. his passing so sudden he month only left behind grieving loved ones but also a long list of things to do. >> we are just helping him to do all of the things i know were on his to-do list. >> neighbor and friend, john rutherford, has been calling on fellow church members to lend a hand. they soon realized that the repair costs were adding up. john turned to annandale's home depot assistant manager. >> come on in and maybe give us a contribution.
give us merchandise at cost. >> i can do better than that. i can come in to the project and provide merchandise materials and get you a volunteer team to take care of your project for you. >> the folks at home depot gave them more than they imagined. they provided a dozen employees working over the course of three days and some $6,500 worth of supplies. john says that this is more than rebuilding a home for marty's wife and daughters. >> i really hope that this is helping the healing process and we can come alongside of her and just care for her and care for the girls. >> honored to have the opportunity to reach out and take care of this family. >> in annandale, virginia, david culver, news4. >> they are covering the costs of the home renovations. landmark with an unmistakable look may be getting a bit of makeover. these are the drawings for a new visitors center.
at is there right now. the new building would be a lot larger and would be made entirely of glass. the project is still in the approval stage. it would cost about $5 million to complete. it has become a popular form of communication and now it could save lives. how one local company is using texting to combat human trafficking. a k-9 with cancer. we meet one of alexandria's finest dogs that's inspiring hope. @@@@!@@@@!@@@@!@@@@!@@@@!@@
a secret weapon is emerge something the fight against human trafficking. it is something most of us use every day. text sing getting victims a new way to get help. news4's eun yang has the story of the organization from our area that's using the technology to end trafficking one victim at a time. >> the text messages often come from victims in crisis. they might be in a moving vehicle or trapped in a hotel
room. >> somebody who is in close proximity to their trafficking and can't pick up the phone and talk because that person will overhear them. >> they train hotline workers how to handle incoming texts. a nonprofit based in d.c. fighting to end human trafficking in the u.s. and abroad. >> they want to know what we are about and what we can do. they may not be ready to take a step on that initial text but initial conversation and that's okay. we just want them to know that they can reach out to us again as many times as they want. >> are you safe right now? can you talk? >> a year ago they launched b-3. dealing trafficking victims can send a text to get in touch with the hot line we have someone some one on the phone whose job it is to do testing every day and be in touch with people who text us back and forth. >> brad miles, executive director, says texting reaches a
whole new population of victims. >> you have kids ginkoersed into the sex trade. you've got people being forced to work against their will like nannies being held in a home or construction workers, farm workers, housekeepers in a hotel. >> hotline workers are learning unlike phone conversations, texting progresses slowly. >> span out over a longer period of time when someone can text in short windows. there is a truck barrier where you have to do relationship building first before you can just start diving in and asking questions. >> but once a text comes in, they analyze them to help identify and understand pat americans human trafficking and stay on top of traffickers who are also using technology to exploit their victims. >> they are die namic and fluid. it is almost like a race to use technology where the non profits are using and it traffickers are using it. it is a question of who outsmarts the other. >> while they work to beat traffickers at their own game,
they are offering a lifeline to victims who often have nowhere else to turn. eun yang, news4, washington. >> it really is amazing. they have already identified and held thousands of human trafficking victims through their phone and texting hotline. the organization also worked th survivors to help them rebuild their lives. addressing mental health. still ahead, inspiring city leaders to push for change. later you likely never heard his name but if you are a hockey fan you definitely see him. we meet the
one man who suffered for years because his mental illness wasn't identified or treated. >> it was pretty bad. it was almost over. >> norman jones suffers from anxiety and depression but not sought help until he was in his 30s. >> if i had known the signs and symptoms, i would have let my family know. if they had moan the signs and symptoms, would have avoided lost time. >> experts say his story is not unique. they point to two barriers that keep young people from getting help. either they aren't aware of the warning signs or they are too embarrassed to ask for help. >> people feel responsible and are ashamed. we want to make -- it much easier and people to recognize the mental health problems we all experience. we all experience ups and downs and debilitating, then we need to get help. >> jones said he found a great support system now but even some of the professionals he encountered made it hard for him.
>> it dawned on me that this person that was supposed to help me was -- i was actually being stigmatized by the person who was there to help me. it shows how much work. >> one of the first places the officials plan do that work, public schools. >> we acknowledge that it is a huge problem and probably 50% of our schools have a mental health presence in one way or the other. the goal is really to get to 100%. >> jones says he is living proof that there is help out there. you just have to ask. >> it is nothing to be ashamed about. p it is something that you are going through. it is an i will must that can be fixed and corrected if you seek treatment early enough. i'm getting back on my pete and we will keep going. day by day, i will be back. i am back. >> it all starts with getting help. the diagnosis turned into an inspiring story inside of the alexandria police department.
this is gracie. gracy nearly five years the german shepherd has been protecting people. she is fighting for her life against kidney cancer. she has just months to live but she continues to join her handler at work because patients love. >> it we take the dogs home. they are a part of the family. my kids love her. my wife loves her. and she is a special dog. she lives here. she enjoys coming to work. i enjoy having her here. she is a great partner. i couldn't ask for anything better. >> gracie can keep her job as long as she is able. if you plan on heading to popular beach, you will have to leave the cigarettes or the cigars at home. rehoboth beach, delaware, is joining the growest list of resort towns to ban smoking. smoke sing already off-limits in
public parks. now you won't be able to light up at most beaches and on the boardwalk. there will be about 20 designated smoking areas on the beach during the summer. during the offseason there will only be four. when we come right back, not so excited for spring. the virginia man who gets the winter blues as plowers start to bloom. we will show you why next.
you may not have heard of jamie gibson but if you watch a hockey game you probably have seen him. he is the guy make sure the ice is ready for play. we get behind the wheel where the caps' zamboni driver. >> ice at the verizon center. home to the washington capitals. it is one inch thick and jamie gibson has one job. >> cutting off the top layer of ice and laying down a new layer on top of that. >> for over 20 years, jamie has been driving the ice resurfacer.
zamboni. this one called an olympia. his father drove the bus when jamie was a kid. now jamie drives the olympia. do you have anybody now that you are trying to intern, trying to teach the ropes of being a great driver? >> yeah. my son actually started working with us when he was almost 17 when he started. he wanted to drive the machine in and i couldn't let him because it would look bad on dad. so i made him wait until he's almost 20. and he started driving and is really good. he took to it better than most of the people i taught. >> gibson believes his son has the gift. but how far could this really be? i hopped on for a ride. when you say there is an art to it, what are you watching for now? >> it is hard for me to explain but find a point, i have a point on the machine that i match up with the line i just made and then i just try to stay right on that and that gives me just a little bit of overlap. >> it is like vacuuming the
carpet. >> keeping the lines. >> got to keep your lines straight. >> driving on the ice, not so easy. especially with thousands of people like him. >> are you ever amazed how interested people are in this? >> yes. to me it is a job, you know. it is not -- people asked me for my autograph. that's not me. i'm here doing a job. i have nothing to do with it. >> maybe not a caps player but he is a part of the team. >> i forgot to tell you i get car sick easily. >> after the game i could make doughnuts to make you sick. >> many of us welcome spring. a falls church man says every we are he is sad to see winter go. walter is known for his beautiful and detailed snow sculptures. here are some of his creations. inch worm. two want ises and even a race car. he told us what kind of snow is best for his craft.
>> now it it is above freezing so the snow on the surface is just beautiful to shape the snow under a pile or in the shade is probably a little dry and crusty. >> he is a residential architect and believes art and architecture go hand in hand. here's all for "news4 this week." i'm veronica johnson. thanks for